TVA Trails

TVA recreation areas, trails and undeveloped lands are open with the exception of the following, which are closed for maintenance:
  • Kentucky Dam West Bank Road (walk-in access to fishing areas is still permitted)
  • Tellico
Visitors are requested to continue to follow physical distancing and other public health guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention while at TVA’s recreation areas.

We’ve got trails to suit every interest and experience level, so whether you're looking for an easy stroll, planning your first mountain bike ride or craving a challenging climb, we’ve got you covered.

Scenic vistas? Check. Birdwatching wonderlands? Check. Wildflower walks? Check. We've even got trails that lead to premium hunting grounds (in season), fishing holes and backcountry campsites.

Here are some things to remember while you're planning your next trail adventure:

  • Trails may be loops or they may be out-and-back trails. Some trails may have more than one trailhead, or may require you to shuttle between trailheads. Check the online maps to be sure you know before you go.
  • Some trails are part of a system of interconnected trails that give you an opportunity to select your route according to your skill level, endurance or just how much time you have to spend in the outdoors.
  • All trails here allow for foot traffic, some allow bicycling and there is one horse trail.
  • TVA trails include two-way traffic, so please watch out for an be courteous to others you might meet on the trail.
  • TVA opens new trails, closes trails for repairs and changes trails to ensure we're giving users the best possible experience while also taking care of the Valley's natural resource, so check back here for the latest information.

Trail Guide

With our improved guide to TVA's more than 170 miles of trails, finding the right destination for you has never been easier. Consult the map or table below, which is sorted by state and reservoir. You'll find detailed trail descriptions, the inside line on difficulty levels, information about amenities, maps, distance, uses and any relevant notes that might affect or enhance your experience. Sixteen of TVA's trails wind through Small Wild Areas, nature preserves that offer stunning views and access to rich natural resources. Click here to find a trail that runs through one of TVA's Small Wild Areas. Bonus: The Appalachian Trail crosses TVA land at Fontana and Watauga dam reservations!

Topographical Maps

Most of the trails are overlaid on topographic (or topo) maps. Topo maps are an attempt to show real variations in elevation on a flat map. If you know how to read a topo map, the map itself can tell you a lot. Here are a few tips to help you out.

History on Wheels

Two new multi-use, bike-optimized trails near South Holston dam offer fun the whole family can enjoy. Check them out.

Trail Safety

Minimize risks and maximize fun. Get tips for keeping yourself—and the environment around you—safe while you're out on a hike. Read more about trail safety.

Hiking in the Wild

Trails through TVA's Small Wild Areas let Tennessee Valley residents get up close and personal with some of the most exceptional natural and scenic resources in the region. There are sixteen ways to go "where the wild things are." Find a Small Wild Area trail near you.

Get Even Wilder

If Small Wild Areas sound too tame for you, perhaps you'd like to forge your own trail own trail through even wilder lands. You can walk freely in the woods on the nearly 293,000 acres of the undeveloped land TVA manages Valleywide as part of its mission of service. Learn more about this land—and see our Undeveloped Recreation Map—on our Recreation on Undeveloped TVA Public Lands page.

Adopt a TVA Trail

TVA manages more than 30 public trails (150 miles) along the Tennessee River and its tributaries and on reservoir lands. You can help us by protecting and monitoring the trails to instill a legacy of conservation. Learn how to volunteer.

The trails marked in red are open for hiking only; blue are open for hiking and biking; and yellow are open for hiking, biking and horseback riding.

Alabama

TrailLocationLength/Difficulty  
Buck Island TrailGuntersville Lake1.6 mile loop / easyDirectionsTrail Map
Cave Mountain TrailGuntersville Dam1.5 mile loop / moderateDirectionsTrail Map
Cooley Cemetery TrailGuntersville Dam6 miles, one way / moderateDirectionsTrail Map
Honeycomb TrailGuntersville Dam9.3 miles / moderate to difficultDirectionsTrail Map
Marbut Bend TrailWheeler Lake1.1 mile loop / easyDirectionsTrail Map
Muscle Shoals Reservation TrailsWilson Dam17 miles total / easy to moderateDirectionsTrail Map

Georgia

TrailLocationLength/Difficulty  
Nottely Dam TrailNottely Dam2.5 mile loop / moderateDirectionsTrail Map
Nottely Tailwater TrailNottely Dam1 mile / moderateDirectionsTrail Map

North Carolina

TrailLocationLength/Difficulty  
Chatuge Dam TrailChatuge Dam1.5 miles, one way / easyDirectionsTrail Map

Tennessee

TrailLocationLength/Difficulty  
Cherokee Cross Country TrailCherokee Dam4.47 mile loop / easyDirectionsTrail Map
Johnson Ridge TrailCherokee Lake1.7 mile loop / easyDirectionsTrail Map
Big Ridge TrailChickamauga Lake1.3 mile loop / moderateDirectionsTrail Map
Dandridge Partnership TrailDouglas Lake1.2 miles, out and back / easyDirectionsTrail Map
Trotter Bluff TrailDouglas Dam1.2 mile loop / easyDirectionsTrail Map
Lady’s Bluff TrailKentucky Lake2.6 miles / moderateDirectionsTrail Map
Melton Hill Dam TrailMelton Hill Dam0.75 miles / easyDirectionsTrail Map
Worthington Cemetery TrailMelton Hill Lake0.75-mile loop / easyDirectionsTrail Map
Little Cedar Mountain TrailNickajack Lake3 mile loop / moderateDirectionsTrail Map
Raccoon Mountain TrailsNickajack Lake28.3 miles total / easy to difficultDirectionsTrail Map
Loyston Point TrailsNorris Lake17.7 miles / moderateDirectionsTrail Map
Hemlock Bluff TrailNorris Lake2.5 miles / moderateDirectionsTrail Map
River Bluff TrailNorris Dam3.2-mile loop / moderateDirectionsTrail Map
Songbird TrailNorris Dam2-mile loop / easyDirectionsTrail Map

A section of the Songbird Trail is washed out, but the trail remains open for use. 
Please exercise caution and do not cross barriers.

South Holston Multi-use TrailsSouth Holston Dam4.2 miles / easyDirectionsTrail Map
South Holston Tailwater TrailsSouth Holston Dam5.1 miles / easyDirectionsTrail Map
Beach TrailTellico Dam2 miles / easyDirectionsTrail Map
East Lakeshore TrailTellico Lake28.8 miles / easyDirectionsTrail Map
Hall Bend TrailTellico Dam5 mile loop / moderateDirectionsTrail Map
Fooshee TrailWatts Bar Lake3 miles / moderateDirectionsTrail Map
Forest City TrailWatts Bar Dam0.3-mile loop / easyDirectionsTrail Map
Whites Creek Trail Watts Bar Lake3 mile loop / moderateDirectionsTrail Map
Overlook TrailWatauga Dam0.5 miles / easyDirectionsTrail Map